четверг, 18 декабря 2008 г.

Insurers to pay compensation to Israeli crash victims’ relatives

AFP Photo / Ruhama Biton

Relatives of the tourism business workers that were killed and injured in Israel's Tuesday road accident will get insurance payments as ordinary tourists from the company with which they had concluded agreement. That’s according to the Russian Union of Tourism press secretary, Irina Tyurina.

However, it is quite possible that they will not have to pay as Irina Tyurina explains:

"The Israeli parliament has already stated that it will pay for the medical treatment ensuring the best care for the injured and will also pay for the arrival and stay of the crash victims' relatives," Tyurina said.

Meanwhile, Russian planes carrying medical aid as well as psychologists and relatives of the victims have arrived in Israel, where a bus crashed Tuesday, killing 25 people and injuring dozens of others.

A bus taking a group of tour operators from St. Petersburg, who had arrived to the country on a fact-finding business trip, slid into a 60-metre-deep ravine off road 60 near the resort city of Eilat in the south of Israel.

According to Israeli Interior officials, the accident, that claimed lives of 25 people and left 24 injured, was caused by the driver who decided to overtake another bus.

The first ambulance is reported to have arrived at the scene of the accident in less than 10 minutes. The Israeli authorities also sent helicopters and many doctors even rushed from private surgeries to treat the survivors.

Those injured are currently undergoing treatment at hospitals in five Israeli cities.

Russian President Dmitry Medvedev and Prime Minister Putin have offered condolences to the families of the victims. In a phone conversation Israeli President Shimon Peres informed his Russian counterpart about the help being provided to the injured. Peres instructed Israeli emergency services to cooperate closely with the Russian side.

Israel's Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni has also expressed deep condolences in connection with the accident. According to her press service she contacted by phone St. Petersburg’s governor Valentina Matvienko and promised any help needed.

The spokesperson of the Israeli embassy to Russia, Alex Goldman-Shaiman, described the accident as one of the worst road crashes in Israeli history and says all possible reasons for it will be investigated, including driver error, technical problems and road defects.

Two information hotlines for relatives of the crash victims have been set-up:

Russian Embassy hotline: +9723-522-6744, +9723-5226736.
Israeli Ministry of Tourism hotline: +972-2-666-43-58

Deadly record in other countries

Egypt, Turkey and Thailand are popular destinations among tourists, Russians included. But it’s not rare that the perfect get-a-way turns into a nightmare.

Poor road conditions, overworked drivers and a lack of safety regulations, as well as other factors, have led to frequent road crashes in these countries.

Egypt has seen some of the worst accidents involving tourists. This year alone there have been at least nine crashes with multiple deaths. The most recent was in October, when six Belgians were killed en route from the southern city of Aswan to the ancient temple of Abu Simbel. 26 others were injured in the incident. At the time, speeding was blamed for the tragedy.

Turkey has also gained a bad reputation. In November, four tourists died and 25 were injured when their bus crashed on the way to Georgia.

In Thailand road fatality rate are also high. The country's accident research group says 13,000 people die in road crashes each year - that's approximately two people every hour. The government says 336 people died in traffic accidents last New Year in just four days.

Source: Russia Today

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